Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

You may not remember this, but back in the 'Nineties, the slogan of American Express was "membership has its privileges." It meant that if you paid the annual fee to have an Amex card, there were benefits to be had.

Well, I don't have a membership tier on this site (although I'd encourage you to support my newsletter Timeless & Timely). But if you're a regular subscriber or reader, there are benefits.

The first is that we get to know each other a little more. That's not exactly fair – I should say that you get to know me a little more; I can't say I know much about you unless you reach out to me. Which you're always welcome to do.

But the other thing is that if you're a regular reader, you notice patterns. For instance, over the last five posts, each one contained a painting by Thomas Cole. Check them out on the home page again. There, on May 14, May 17, May 29, June 5, and June 12 you'll see them.

They aren't just any random paintings by Cole. These were the five-part series The Course of Empire. According to Wikipedia,
"It is notable in part for reflecting popular American sentiments of the times, when many saw pastoralism as the ideal phase of human civilization, fearing that empire would lead to gluttony and inevitable decay."


And so my intent was to use each of these phases in Cole's series (The Savage State, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, The Consummation of Empire, Destruction, and Desolation) as a look at how we've evolved technologically in the last couple of decades, and how we need to reflect on the direction we're going. That we need just as much attention on the human and sociological impact of our decisions as we do on the technical.

Were you among the few who picked up on the subtlety in each image selection? Or on the overall series?

It's a subtle nod to Alfred Hitchcock, who famously made cameo appearances in nearly every movie he directed. It took him six years and three films to pull off his cleverest gag: in Spellbound (1945) , he was seen carrying a violin case; in The Paradine Case (1947), he had a cello case; and in Strangers on a Train (1951), he struggled to bring a double bass onto the train.

Over the course of his directing career, Alfred Hitchcock was exacting and knew precisely what he wanted to convey. He wasn't always easy to work with, because of his high standards and vision for the finished product. But movie-goers knew that if they saw a Hitchcock film, it was likely to be suspenseful and a good story. Viewers came to expect his cameo appearances, but true aficionados were able to appreciate his long game, as with the instruments. 

And that's the other part of the payoff of loyalty and attention: the results can be enormously gratifying and rewarding, but in some cases, it takes a quite a while to manifest. Along the way, you need to keep the interest and attention of your customers, fans, employees, or anyone else whom you'd like to reach. 

If that's the case, the parts must be of equal if not higher quality than the whole.

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